Have you ever been at the receiving line of this statement? Did it make you feel this big -> . <- thought so. When I was first being trained in a molecular laboratory I was in that situation. The catalyst of the comment being the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Mainly being about the DNA polymerase used in the reaction I was setting up. The ‘you don’t know how lucky you are’ (YDKHLYA) was a reference to the polymerase actually being Taq polymerase from the thermophile Thermus aquaticus. Most importantly it was because I did not know how lucky I was and still to this day just can not wrap my head around how lucky I am, how lucky we are. It should be said that this ‘YDKHLYA’ was shortly followed with a ‘back in my day’ (BIMD) and unfurled into a reminiscence of PCR before the use of thermo stable DNA polymerase. My eyes nearly fell out of my head. I know, Right? PCR before Taq, what an era! So they continued… ‘BIMD we had to top up the DNA polymerase for each cycle’ can you imagine?! I sometimes think back in a hazy fog of fondness to the days I used Taq before going to the dark side and being a Phusion groupie. So thinking that my PCR programme that takes 40 minutes would have taken a day, even days not that long ago in the grand scheme of science history seems barmy!
Makes me wonder when I’d old and grey and wearing purple what will I be preaching about to my student victims?